Bagan, noted for its combination of 2,229 temples, pagodas, stupas and monasteries located on a 13 x 8 km section of plains adjacent to a big bend in the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River.
Bagan, previously known as Pagan is located in the central Myanmar, 700 km Nth of Yangon and 300 km SW of Mandalay. The majority of the Buddhist religious structures were built in the 11th to 13th centuries when Pagan was the capital of the Pagan Empire. Mongol invasions saw its decline. Bagan (Old and New) are now towns with a population totaling approx 16,000.
A massive earthquake in 1975 caused major damage to the upper sections of the structures which have since been rebuilt. Visitors to Bagan pay for a permit to visit the Archaeological Zone with the funds directed towards ongoing maintenance. Myanmar visitors naturally pay far less than foreign visitors.
The region experiences a dry zone climate which is probably the reason these archaeological structures have survived the centuries. I noted on the bus trip into and the train trip out of Bagan the aridity of the country and long distances between villages.